Secular Right | Reality & Reason



72% of Egypt’s parliament is Islamist

Islamists Win 70% of Seats in the Egyptian Parliament:

Egyptian authorities confirmed Saturday that a political coalition dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the 84-year-old group that virtually invented political Islam, had won about 47 percent of the seats in the first Parliament elected since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. An alliance of ultraconservative Islamists won the next largest share of seats, about 25 percent.

The tally, with the two groups of Islamists together winning about 70 percent of the seats, indicates the deep cultural conservatism of the Egyptian public, which is expressing its will through free and fair elections for the first time in more than six decades.

But the two groups have described very different visions and appear to be rivals rather than collaborators. The Brotherhood has said it intends to respect personal liberties and will focus on economic and social issues, gradually nudging the culture toward its conservative values. By contrast, the ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, put a higher priority on legislation on Islamic moral issues, like the consumption of alcohol, women’s dress and the contents of popular culture.

The data was there for us to infer that this would be the outcome. Nevertheless I do recall back in the heady days of the Arab Spring some commenters infected by revolutionary fervor would scoff at the purported Islamist sympathies of the people. What this goes to show is that enthusiasm and hope does not translate into reality. If secular liberals in Egypt bow before the principle of popularity, then they accept that it is right and proper that they present their throats to their new overlords. I don’t view this as an apocalypse. It is what it is. But it was predictable.


  • Dangph · January 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Mr Hume, did you predict it? I seem to recall that you did. But in any case, you are right that it was predictable. Barry Rubin has been clearly and loudly predicting that outcome from the beginning. And the mainstream media got it completely wrong.

  • RandyB · January 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Mr. Hume/Kahn, I remember you linking to poll results showing that Egypt has nearly the same level of popular support for severe Islamic punishments as Pakistan. Do you see the Brotherhood and Salafis coming to battle over things like blasphemy laws and protecting Copts and their churches?

  • Author comment by David Hume · January 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Do you see the Brotherhood and Salafis coming to battle over things like blasphemy laws and protecting Copts and their churches?

    blasphemy laws? i think there’s unanimity on that in egypt. mubarak’s regime enforced them too. the church issue is different. there may be conflict here. though as much within the brotherhood as between the brotherhood and the salafists. the main issue is that many of the people in the brotherhood are rich or upper middle class. these people don’t like destabilization because it can result in dispossession of their material gains.



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